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rupeek lays off: Rupeek lays off 200 employees amid slowing funding

Bengaluru: Gold loan provider Rupeek is the latest startup to lay off employees impacting nearly 200 of its staff, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. The company’s pullback exercise was undertaken to cut costs as global macro conditions continue to hurt Indian startups amid slowing funding.

In a written communication to employees on Tuesday morning, Rupeek founder and chief executive Sumit Maniyar said Rupeek had made the “decision to part ways with 10-15% of Rupeek’s colleagues and friends.”

“Globally, all emerging markets, including India, are facing an extraordinary situation that has been caused by rising inflation, a hike in US Treasury rates and the Russian-Ukrainian war. The macroeconomic environment morose has forced us to recalibrate our strategy, review our costs and streamline our organizational structure, in order to sustain our sustenance and growth,” Maniyar said in an internal memo to employees.

“We have conducted a thorough exercise and have decided to maintain the right workforce mix required, in line with our revised strategic plans. It was definitely one of the toughest processes we have had to go through as an organization,” Maniyar added.

Founded in 2015, Rupeek brings gold loans to consumers’ doorsteps. It currently operates in over 35 cities and has disbursed over Rs 6,500 crore in loans since its inception.

The company which counts GGV Capital, Binny Bansal and Bertelsmann India Investments as investors had raised $34 million in its new raise earlier in January this year. Lightbox led the final lap. In March 2021, VEF Ltd. announced that it had invested $7 million in the gold loan provider.

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When ET reached out, a spokesperson for Rupeek confirmed the development and said, “With deep regret, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with 10-15% of employees. We recognize the selfless contributions of all employees who are affected and are committed to supporting them through this transition.”

With Fed rate hikes, several top venture capital firms including Beenext, Sequoia, Y Combinator and others warned their portfolio founders of the slowdown and urged them to prepare for “the ‘funding winter’.

These venture capitalists advised startups to take a cautious stance on fundraising and increase their footprint to survive the funding downturn.

Other Indian startups that have laid off recently include – edtech ventures, Unacademy, Vedantu, Lido Learning, Frontrow; gaming startup, Mobile

League; social commerce startup, Meesho; health platform, Mfine; car retailer, Cars24 among many others.

Last month, Unacademy founder Gaurav Munjal, whose company recently laid off more than 1,000 permanent and contract employees, told employees in an email that “winter has arrived” and that the reduction costs would be the company’s primary focus as funding would remain scarce for at least the next 12 to 18 months.

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